Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Third Time's The Challenge

When my niece, Nicole, turned one, I sent her a book. I remember clearly my sister's thank-you note saying how cute the book was, and that she was sure Nicki would love it if she would sit still long enough to listen. Later, when I had Clare and then Danny, both of whom always loved to sit and be read to, I sort of scoffed at this memory of Nicki. Sara obviously just didn't try enough with her. Well, as has nearly always happened to me when I have made the mistake of judging other parents and found myself superior, I have been humbled.

As with Clare and Danny, we started reading to Laura very early on in her infancy. Perhaps we didn't do it quite as frequently, but I have visual proof of us doing so. It seems, however, that her patience for reading was the result of her physical inability to move. Because ever since she's been able to move independently, she has had no interest in sitting for stories. Instead, as soon as we sit on the couch with a book (and I try this almost daily), she dive bombs for the cushions in the corner, with a semi-maniacal giggle. This is obviously a game to her. I persevere with the story, and occasionally she will glance over her shoulder at the book before turning back to the lamp, or the cat, or the coaster. Sigh. Invariably Tim and I shake our heads and lament that it's a good thing she's cute.

Fortunately she tolerates a story at bedtime, and usually at naptime, too, so I don't completely despair that she is doomed to illiteracy. (And by the way, Nicki loves to read now.) I think it is pretty clear, however, that any comfort we felt in our parenting prowess will continue to be provoked by this one. Little does she know how much both Tim and I dislike to lose.

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